UNRWA launches the Newly-Appointed Teachers (NAT) Programme in celebration of World Teacher’s Day

Today, on World Teacher’s Day, the UNRWA Education Programme officially launches its new in-service Newly-Appointed Teachers (NAT) programme, which will replace the current Education Psychology (EP) in-service training programme. NAT is for those newly-appointed UNRWA teachers who have no professional formal teacher training before joining UNRWA.

New teachers will work through the NAT programme to better equip them to deliver an education which meets the demands of the 21st century. Launching the new programme at this time reflects how UNRWA education strives to invest in its teachers, even with the challenges it currently faces. It is of particular pertinence as this year marks the 70th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. To commemorate the anniversary, which recognizes ‘education as a key fundamental right for all children,’ the theme for World Teacher’s Day 2018 is “The right to education means the right to a qualified teacher.” The Agency is proud to launch NAT on World Teachers’ Day alongside its sister UN Agencies celebrating this day and honouring educators the world over.

UNRWA Director of Education Caroline Pontefract highlighted the strong relevance of the NAT programme for the UNRWA teachers in that the “’programme reflects the needs of UNRWA students in the 21st century - to think critically, to value human rights, to take initiative and be able to work together.”

Ms. Pontefract described also how teachers will study what is a blended learning, text-based programme that also has references and links to other external materials and resources. The teachers will also have the opportunity to share their experiences in regular sessions which will facilitated by the UNRWA education support staff in each Field - Lebanon, Syria, Jordan, Gaza and West Bank (including East Jerusalem).

The UNRWA education programme is one of the largest non-governmental school systems in the Middle East, providing over half a million Palestine refugee children with free-of-charge basic education every day. The programme is supported through generous contributions of key donors and partners.

BACKGROUND INFORMATION

UNRWA is confronted with an increased demand for services resulting from a growth in the number of registered Palestine refugees, the extent of their vulnerability and their deepening poverty. UNRWA is funded almost entirely by voluntary contributions and financial support has been outpaced by the growth in needs. As a result, the UNRWA programme budget, which supports the delivery of core essential services, operates with a large shortfall. UNRWA encourages all Member States to work collectively to exert all possible efforts to fully fund the Agency’s programme budget. UNRWA emergency programmes and key projects, also operating with large shortfalls, are funded through separate funding portals.

UNRWA is a United Nations agency established by the General Assembly in 1949 and mandated to provide assistance and protection to some 5.4 million Palestine refugees registered with UNRWA across its five fields of operation. Its mission is to help Palestine refugees in Jordan, Lebanon, Syria, West Bank, including East Jerusalem and the Gaza Strip achieve their full human development potential, pending a just and lasting solution to their plight. UNRWA services encompass education, health care, relief and social services, camp infrastructure and improvement, protection and microfinance.

For more information, please contact:

Christopher Gunness
Spokesperson, Director of Advocacy & Strategic Communications
Mobile: +972 (0)54 240 2659
Office: +972 (0)2 589 0267
c.gunness@unrwa.org

Sami Mshasha
Chief of Communications, Arabic Language Spokesperson
Mobile: +972 (0)54 216 8295
Office: +972 (0)258 90724
s.mshasha@unrwa.org